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LAFAYETTE TWP. — The family of former Lafayette Township trustee Bryon Macron, whose body was found Feb. 21 in Chippewa Lake, still is waiting for answers.
A preliminary autopsy report, complete with pictures, was released to the media in April. Authorities thought then the toxicology report would be forthcoming.
Three months later, many observers — including the Macrons’ attorney — are wondering why it’s taking so long to be released.
Medina County Coroner Dr. Lisa Deranek said Thursday there are two reasons for the report’s delay.
First, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office — contracted by the Medina County Coroner’s Office to handle most autopsies — has been backlogged in cases related to opiate overdoses.
Second, “a drug was found on the drug screen,” Deranek said. “It could have been a false positive. (The Cuyahoga medical examiner) sent the sample back for a repeat test.”
Deranek explained it could be a product of decomposition or a false positive.
“We don’t want to besmirch Mr. Macron’s name,” she said.
She said by state law, the coroner has six months to complete the autopsy.
“He’s not there yet,” Deranek said.
She said she calls every day to see if the report is done, noting she’s been provided no timetable for its completion.
“We all have Mr. Macron’s good name in mind,” she said. “We don’t want to say something is there and then have to retract it.”
Meanwhile, the attorney hired by the Macron family — Richard Lillie of Lillie & Holderman, 2003 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland — has begun to conduct his own investigation in the case.
The family has become frustrated by what they believe are the lack of answers in the seven-month investigation, he said, noting he has been retained by Victoria Macron, the widow of Bryon Macron.
“The family has hired me to assist her through the process,” Lillie said.
The 45-year-old Macron was reported missing Dec. 16. A township employee found blood in Macron’s office at Lafayette Township Hall at around 7:30 a.m. Macron’s black SUV later was discovered at Beachside Boulevard in Chippewa Lake.
Two months later, his body was found by a kayaker in Chippewa Lake. He was buried March 8 at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.
Lillie said the sheriff’s office, which is conducting an investigation, has “tried to be forthcoming.”
Sheriff’s Capt. Kenneth Baca was not available for comment Thursday about the case.
“The big thing that has handcuffed all of us is trying to get the autopsy report from the Medina County coroner,” Lillie said.
“She independently contracts with the Cuyahoga County office. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the responsibility to produce this information in a timely fashion.”
He said it’s not uncommon for the corner’s report to take three or four months.
“The body was found in February,” Lillie said. “That’s five months. That is unusual.
“I’m not a doctor. I don’t see why there’s such a delay.”
He said the detective on the case has been more than fair and has updated the family as much as possible. Lillie said the detective is under no obligation to do that.
“He has shared information with us,” he said. “That doesn’t alleviate Victoria’s distress and agony in trying to figure out what happened to her husband.”
Lillie said after the toxicology report is released, they’ll assess all the information and determine their next move.
That might mean hiring a private investigator, a role Lillie has been filling in the interim.
Victoria Macron, who is raising three daughters, has been handing out fliers just to keep her husband’s name fresh in everyone’s minds.
“She’s been extremely proactive from Day 1,” Lillie said. “(This case is) perplexing and it drives us to want to know more and get some answers.”
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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